I don't eat out at fast food places with Mady tons, so perhaps this is totally a normal thing to do. I don't know. But here is a little run down of what has happened the last two times we have been out to eat.
So at the mall with my sister and our 4 kids (3, 2, 8 months, 7 months) we stop at the food court. We're at a four person table and the babies are in my double stroller. We barely sit down and a little girl who was maybe 8 comes over from the table behind us to the stroller. I can tell that she just wants to see the babies, but she doesn't simply say "can I look at your babies?" Instead she stands awkwardly next to the stroller, not really interacting with them (probably in case she got in trouble), but too close to be considered NOT interacting (her hand was on the side of the stroller, so I know she was there for the purpose of looking at the babies). She didn't say a word to us or the babies, just kind of hovered. So it just felt weird. We were trying to eat and she was just, well, there. I get that she's 8 and too young to get the social clues, so she didn't really bother me, except that she was with her mom (who sat at their table the whole time watching this happen) and her mom didn't stop her from coming, or encourage her to say something like "can I see your babies?". She just ignored her while the daughter made our lunch awkward.
Then today while out running errands we stopped for lunch. It was just me and my girls and Kate was in her car seat (preserving heat, its COLD here.) so I put her on the floor beside us and Mady and I sat at a 4 person table. The little girl (maybe 5 years) from the table next to us was done her meal so she comes over and sits at our table. Yup, just sits down. Again, doesn't say anything, just awkwardly smiles at Mady. I finally had to tell her that Mady couldn't play, she needed to eat her lunch (she's an easily distracted two year old) and that she needed to go back to her own table. I'm sure I sounded like a rude hag, but Mady wouldn't have eaten the entire time she sat there. Again, the Grandma she was with didn't say anything in terms of the fact that maybe you shouldn't try to make friends when it's obvious that the other child just sat down and needs to eat.
So am I totally out to lunch? (oh ha! Bad pun.) When I was a kid, I was totally one of those kids that liked to look over the backside of the booth at the next table and my mom always made me turn around and sit down because its rude to interrupt someone else's meal. And its one thing to strike up a conversation from your own table first, but to just assume that the other person wants your company and sit down? (again, I know this was a child today, but her grandma didn't stop her which says the adult thought it was okay).
So is this weird to anyone else? Has this happened to anyone else? Do you let your kids go talk to other people while they are trying to eat their lunch? I'm all for being friendly and making friends, but there's still a social personal space bubble for meals that has to be correctly interacted with, right???